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Defence Key To Lightning vs Fever Battle

The eight points will be hotly contested in the grand final rematch on Sunday and Sunshine Coast Lightning can expect a tough defensive battle.

Assistant Coach Kylee Byrne commended the Lightning’s ability to create turnovers in the Magpies’ attack on the weekend but said the next step is to capitalise on those opportunities on the scoreboard.

“Defensively we were quite good and we were happy with the structures… we turned over enough ball but we just didn’t convert,” Byrne said.

“We had 15 attempts less than them and that’s just not good enough.

“We’ve spent a whole lot of time [at training] getting the ball into the circle and then converting when we have it, so that will be the focus again at training today.”

But it’s not just Lightning talking defence.

West Coast Fever Coach Stacey Marinkovich is urging her players to return to the team-wide style of defence that they have been known for in the past.

With question marks over two of their star players in Captain Courtney Bruce and shooter Jhaniele Fowler, Fever will undoubtedly try to restrict Lightning’s scoring opportunities.

“I am expecting a lot more intensity from our defence from a full-court perspective on the weekend,” Marinkovich told WA News.

“I think we performed in some areas really, really well [in round one].

“There is some consistency in our attack that we need to improve on.

“Defensively, I think we were off across the whole court. I don’t think we applied as much pressure as we are renowned for.

“We didn’t have that real hard, first-ball contest.”

Sunshine Coast Lightning will go head to head in Perth with West Coast Fever on Sunday at 1pm AEST, with both sides eyeing their first win of season 2019.